(WIVB)–It was a war of attrition and in the end the Bills were able to limp to the finish line with 14-7 over the Titans. The Bills head to the bye week with a 4-1 record. Here are 4 observations following Sunday’s win.
1. Duke shines in debut. Bills fans have been calling for Duke Williams since the start of the season, the wide receiver got his chance and didn’t disappoint. Duke hauled in all 4 of his targets, including the game-winning touchdown. The big bodied wide receiver was signed off the practice squad on Saturday and played a lot of snaps in his debut… I wouldn’t expect that to change following the bye week. Which makes you wonder about the future of Zay Jones and Robert Foster.
2. Defense brings the heat. The Bills have done a decent job creating pressure all season but they didn’t have a lot of sacks to show for it, that changed in Nashville. The defense racked up 5 sacks, led by Jordan Phillips who took down Marcus Mariota 3 times. In the postgame locker room, Lorenzo Alexander said it was a combination of Mariota holding onto the ball too long and the secondary locking down the Tennessee wide receivers.
3. Improved depth leads to win. It was easy to predict this would be a slugfest and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. The injuries piled up along the offensive line for the Bills. They lost center Mitch Morse to an ankle injury, Jon Feliciano slid from right guard to center and Spencer Long took over at guard. Later in the game, right tackle Cody Ford left with a head injury and was replaced by Ryan Bates. It wasn’t always pretty but it was effective enough to beat a very good Titans defense. The bye week couldn’t be coming at a better time.
4. Josh Allen was better than you may think. The Bills quarterback was very efficient in the first half: 17/21, 146 yards, TD, 0 INTs. His numbers came back down to earth in the 2nd half and he finished: 22/32, 219 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT. Did he make a terrible decision on the interception? Absolutely! Keep in mind, Allen was facing one of the best defenses in the league, on the road, behind a battered offensive line and found a way to lead the Bills on another 4th quarter game-winning drive. Afterwards, Allen said “I think I was the best game I’ve played overall so far.”…. I would agree.